CJ Cansino has always professed his admiration for Scottie Thompson, having drawn comparisons to the Ginebra guard. On Sunday afternoon, the 6-foot-1 rookie once again showed why he is one of the most well-rounded collegiate basketball players today despite his height.
Against the University of the East Red Warriors, Cansino picked up his first-ever triple-double, tallying 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. But it almost did not come, as he was stuck with nine dimes with about a minute remaining in the game.
“Sabi ni coach Mcjour [Luib] na after ng play na yun, one assist na lang, so dun ko na lang nalaman na one assist na lang kaya ko tinuro si coach,” he recalled.
With 51.1 seconds left, Cansino was able to find a cutting Zachy Huang. Huang knocked down a smooth lay-in to give the rookie the milestone.
Cansino deflected the credit to his coaches, as they were the ones preparing him for this moment.
“Sabi nila nung first round, ‘CJ, you need to have extra pass kasi scouted ka na. Meron ka na puntos, kailangan mo na lang dagdagan yung assists mo kasi magsa-sag na lahat sa’yo. Na-scout na yung open court mo kaya pasa-pasa na lang’,” he shared.
“Nag-improve yung playmaking ko dahil sa kanila.”
“I’m not expecting that much but I know that ever since na kinuha ko si Cj, patulungan siya mag-materialize lahat ng potential niya. Again, kami, gusto lang namin,” added first-year head coach Aldin Ayo.
“CJ is full of potential, gusto lang namin mag-materialize iyon.”
Cansino, who celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday, won’t be lingering on this achievement as he is focused on the task at hand: bringing UST to the Final Four.
“Siyempre, ang saya ko kasi pangarap ko yun eh. Idol na idol ko si Russell Westbrook so yung mga triple-double parang achievement sa akin,” Cansino shared.
“Pero sabi ko sa sarili ko, nakuha ko pero kailangan ko pa mag-work para ma-achieve ko pa next game.”